Social Media’s Effect on the Development and Learning Stages of A ChildNisha CunninghamFelician UniversitySocial Media’s Effect on the Development and Learning Stages of A ChildAnnotated BibliographyBest, P., Manktelowa, R., & Taylor, B. (2014). Online communication, social media, and adolescent wellbeing: A systematic narrative review. Children and Youth Services Review, 27-36.The article looks into the growing debate about the effects of online social technologies on children and teenagers. Through an in-depth analysis of empirical research, the authors identify both the benefits and harmful effects of social media on young people. The article gives recommendations on how to minimize adverse impacts and increase the positive effects of social media. Loureiro, K., Solnet, D., Bolton, R. P., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., & Kabadayi, S. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 245-267.Social media use has several implications for young people. This article refers to today’s younger generation as Generation Y. The authors collect information to show the effects of social media on society, organizations, and individuals. Several research questions are derived to explain social media use in a better way.Hutter, K., Hautz, J., Dennhardt, S., & Füller, J. (2013). The impact of user interactions in social media on brand awareness and purchase intention: the case of MINI on Facebook. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 342-351.The article analyzes how social media influences the purchase of products. Through an online survey, the authors indicate how individuals can be talked into buying products over the internet. The authors use a mixed-method research method to show how social media has influenced the marketing of products.Schwendler, I. L., & Trude, A. (2018). Implementation of Text-Messaging and Social Media Strategies in a Multilevel Childhood Obesity Prevention Intervention: Process Evaluation Results. The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 187-198.Social media has been highly attributed to the increase in obesity in young children. Children are spending more time on social media platforms. Physical exercise has dramatically reduced as more children embrace social media and their major entertainment. The article reviews the use of social media in both increasing and lowering obesity prevalence.Lewin, C., & Greenhow, C. (2016). Social media and education: reconceptualizing the boundaries of formal and informal learning. Journal of Learning, Media and Technology, 6-30.Social media has several effects on society. Some people have argued that social media has the potential of creating a bridge between formal and informal learning. Social media affects learning at both levels. This article analyzes the use of social media in terms of its effects on learning both formally and informally. The authors give suggestions on how social media platforms can be used to deliver better learning outcomes.Raut, V., & Patil, P. (2016). Use of Social Media in Education: Positive and Negative impact on the students. International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication, 281-285.Social media use has dramatically increased. In most cases, human activities are reliant on the internet. While social media improves communication, it has both negative and positive effects on the learning of students. The article looks into how social media has influenced education both in good and bad ways. The authors focus on unhealthy addiction to social media and its effects on development.Akram, W., & Kumar, R. (2017). A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, 347-357.The article gathers data to show the positive and negative effects of social media on society. The authors outline the position held by social media in our community. While its significance cannot be ignored, it is essential to consider how social media has negatively contributed to education, culture, morals, and society at large.Aksoy, L., Van Riel, A., Kandampully, J., Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., … & Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda.Journal of service management.This article discusses the use of social media by Generation Y. It provides a review of the usage tendencies of social media and seeks to explain the frequencies. It also explains the effect of branding on social media to this generation and whether they are affected by influenced by buying trends.Chassiakos, Y. L. R., Radesky, J., Christakis, D., Moreno, M. A., & Cross, C. (2016). Children and adolescents and digital media.Pediatrics,138(5), e20162593.This article provides the growth stages of children and the alteration of these stages when children interact with digital media. It also looks into the shift from childhood to adolescence and the impediments that may arise if social media affected the children at an early age.Coombes, B. (2009). Generation Y: Are they really digital natives or more like digital refugees.Synergy,7(1), 31-40This article augments the article on generation Y by explaining the difference of this generation being digital natives or digital refugees.Desmottes, L., Meulemans, T., & Maillart, C. (2016). Later learning stages in procedural memory are impaired in children with specific language impairment.Research in developmental disabilities,48, 53-68.Desmottes et al. try to explain how the learning stages in procedural memory of children are impaired by use of social media. The article explains that subject to the early addiction of children to social media, the learning of languages in children shall be impaired.Dorfberger, S., Adi-Japha, E., & Karni, A. (2007). Reduced susceptibility to interference in the consolidation of motor memory before adolescence.PLoS One,2(2).Dorfberger et al. provides a study on the diminishing susceptibility to the inference that occurs in the consolidation of motor-memory prior to adolescence. It explains the various stages of motor learning and the effort of cognitive effort to the same and similarly expounds on the effect of addiction to social media on the cognitive effort.Dudai, Y., Karni, A., & Born, J. (2015). The consolidation and transformation of memory.Neuron,88(1), 20-32.This article provides an explanation of how memory is consolidated by the human brain. It gives the supporting factors to the consolidation and how these supporting factors can be affected by the “reward-system”Elster, J. (1990). Marxism, functionalism, and game theory.DEBATES IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, 22.This article provides an explanation of various sociological theories. Particularly it explains functionalism and such it becomes instrumental to this study.Griffiths, M. (2000). Does Internet and computer” addiction” exist? Some case study evidence.CyberPsychology and Behavior,3(2), 211-218.Griffiths questions whether social media addiction is extant in this article. It delves into a case study to propound the fact that while it seems impossible, social media addiction exists and affects a lot of people. Hamm, M. P., Newton, A. S., Chisholm, A., Shulhan, J., Milne, A., Sundar, P., … & Hartling, L. (2015). Prevalence and effect of cyberbullying on children and young people: A scoping review of social media studies.JAMA pediatrics,169(8), 770-777.This article provides an explanation to the prevalence of cyber bulling on children and young people. It provides an explanation as to why there is an increase in cyber bullying cases with regards to use of social media as well as gives the effects of social media on the self-esteem of children. Leung, L. (2014). Predicting Internet risks: a longitudinal panel study of gratifications-sought, Internet addiction symptoms, and social media use among children and adolescents.Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: An Open Access Journal,2(1), 424-439.Is it possible to predict the risks which are present in the internet while being covered with good things? This article delves into the study of how various characteristics of social media use may be harmful to the growth of children and adolescents. Lichy, J., & Kachour, M. (2017). Insights into the Culture of Young Internet Users: Emerging Trends–Move Over Gen Y, Here Comes Gen Z!. InResearch Paradigms and Contemporary Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction(pp. 84-115). IGI Global.This article provides an insight to the trends of social media use among generation Y and Generation Z. Mulkay, M. (2014).Functionalism, Exchange and Theoretical Strategy (RLE Social Theory). Routledge.Mulkay provides an explanation of the functionalism theory and show it applies to this study as a sociological theoryO’Keeffe, G. S., & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804.O’Keeffe &Clarke-Pearson study the impact that social media has on both children and adolescents and try to relate these impacts to the relationship of children with their parents.Sampasa-Kanyinga, H., & Lewis, R. F. (2015). Frequent use of social networking sites is associated with poor psychological functioning among children and adolescents.Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking,18(7), 380-385.These authors seek to associate poor psychological functioning in children and adults with the frequent use of social media networking sites. Swist, T., Collin, P., McCormack, J., & Third, A. (2015). Social media and the wellbeing of children and young people: A literature review.This article provides for social media a literature review of the wellbeing of children and young people when they are using social media. It analyzes the side effects which are not explicitly evident and the effects of such to the development of the young mind.Turner, A. (2015). Generation Z: Technology and social interest.The Journal of Individual Psychology,71(2), 103-113.Turner provides the explanation of the social interest of Generation Z. Through an examination of the psychology of generation Z, the article provides an explanation to why this generation uses social media extensive/Social Media’s Effect on the Development and Learning Stages of A ChildResearch Outline1. Introduction2. Background of the Studya) Developmental and Learning stages of a childb) Social Media’s effect on children3. Sociological Theory and Methodology for the Topic 4. How Young Social Media StartsThis part shall talk about the various age restrictions of some social media platforms and the response of Children’s Online Privacy Act 5. Effect of Social Media in Young Childrena. Addictionb. Self-Esteem and Self Confidencec. Effect on Critical skills6. Addiction to Social Media Children7. Effects of Addiction to Social Media to the Learning Process of Young Childrena. Sensorimotor stageb. Preoperational stagec. Concrete operational staged. Formal operational stage8. Generation Z and Generation Y with regards to Social Media9. Improvements of Electronics and the Increase in the use of Social Media10. ConclusionQuestionnaire 1. Are you aware of today’s society’s addiction to social media?YesNo2. Do you have children?If no, skip to question 10.YesNo3. Do you allow them to use electronics?If no, skip to question 8.YesNo4. Do your children have their own electronics or rely on those of others?Their ownOther5. In total, how many hours a day do they use electronics? 1-3 hours4-6 hours6 or more hours6. Are they used for entertainment or educational purposes?EducationalEntertainmentBoth7. Do you allow your children to use social media?YesNo8. Does your child mimic things they see on social media? (i.e dances, phrases, clothing choice, personality traits)YesNo9. Do you think your child is addicted to social media?YesNo10. Do you own any electronics? (i.e laptop, phone, smart watches, tablets)YesNo11. Do you have any social media account? (i.e Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, )YesNo12. At what age did you start using social media?13. In total, many hours a day do you use social media?1-3 hours4-6 hours6 or more hours14. Do you find yourself mimicking things you see on social media?YesNo15. Do you think you are addicted to social media?YesNo Sociological Theory and Methodology for the TopicSociological TheoryThis topic falls under the structural-functionalism sociological theory. The structural functionalism theory seeks to find out the effects of social media on the stability and solidarity of society. This perspective or theory views the society as a complex system which is depended on the parts or units that make it up to ensure that the society functions as expected to achieve stability and solidarity and work as a unit.One of the main factors under this perspective is that different social structures are expected to shape society into a functional unit (Mulkay, 2014). Therefore, children, as part of the society should be shaped from home to ensure that they grow into useful and essential members of society by positively contributing to the welfare of society. This can only be achieved if the children are not affected by the destructive effects from social media use which change them into unproductive members of the society. The methodology of the topicThis research used a qualitative study which analyzed the research question to find out the effects of social media on the children. The research gathered data used in the study after studying, analyzing and synthesizing a total of twenty-one peer-reviewed articles on the topic. The sectors that were analyzed included the background of social media use by children, the effects of social media and whether addiction to social media impairs the developmental stages of children. The research focused on finding out the different ways in which social media affects children.IntroductionOver a period, social media has been a continuously growing phenomenon in our society. Today, almost all activities are influenced by social media. The effects of social media on a human being’s way of life remain a controversial topic. Some people believe that social media has a lot of advantages or benefits to the way of life, but on the other hand, others believe that it has a lot of disadvantages to the society (Desmottes, 2015). Without any doubt, social media encourages the creation of a global village by ensuring that people keep in touch quickly. By facilitating communication and interactions. Every individual can share sentiments, concerns, or ideas with a large number of people across the world. While a more natural connection is an obvious benefit, it is imperative to analyze how social media affects learning and developmental processes in children.Children continuously grow from birth to adulthood. During all these stages of development, the children gather knowledge from their environment. The children consume contents and experiences, which adversely affects their social, language, intellectual, emotional, and physical development. Every child follows the same developmental stages and learning process. The learning process is classified according to the child’s developmental stage (Leung, 2014). It is prudent to note that social media has changed the learning process in children as they imitate what they are exposed to in social media, either positive or negative. Children are being exposed to information which they cannot adequately synthesize due to their mental capability and physical development. Although it is a good thing that children are exposed to more information, lack of parental control has adverse effects on learning. Today, children have underdeveloped social skills that are due to them being used to charting of communicating via social media they are unable to communicate with other people face to face (Best et al. 2013). Further, continued exposure to social media results in speech problems. These are some of the adverse effects of social media on children’s developmental process; This is because the social media is uncontrolled and the children are exposed to some content meant for adults, and it affects them. As information is now readily available, children are exposed to false information on social media due to the lack of control on the social media platforms. False information on eating habits and poor lifestyle habits leads to obesity and other lifestyle conditions. Today, a large number of obesity cases can be directly attributed to social media. Children at a lower development stage may be inclined to believe in untrue information on unhealthy eating habits such as consumption of sugary and fatty food staffs lifestyle choices which result in lifestyle diseases (Sampasa-Kanyiga & Lewis, 2015. The children today have a problem with their eating habits. In most cases, children are addicted to high-sugar foods (Swist et al. 2015). Social media is recorded as the highest consumer of children’s free time. An average child spends approximately a third of his/her day on social media platforms. The other major time consumer is sleep. A combination of high-sugar foods and lack of physical exercise is synonymous with obesity advertisements on social media platforms fuel consumption of such food. There is a need to increase children’s involvement in physical activities (Hamm et al. 2015). Children should be encouraged to embrace dynamic behaviours such as finding hobbies in things that they like doing, which will supplement their addiction to media. Children are continuously exposed to internet advertisements advocating for unhealthy food. Advertisements on social media seek to satisfy hunger on an emotional angle rather than health needs. Due to exposure of false information which affects the health of the child, it then affects the child’s developmental process is, therefore, affected immensely. It is also imperative to consider the effects of social media on social-emotional growth. The three fundamental types of learning are affected by social media (observational learning, classical, and operant conditioning). Children can learn from social media how to associate with certain events such as eating habits and association which may lead the children to be conditioned by social media, unaware that the information might be false. Additionally, children’s observe behaviour on social media and end up copying adverse reactions to issues of lifestyle issues. Social media is turning out to be a forum for bullying (Swist et al. 2015). Through cyberbullying, victims suffer emotional and social setbacks. Further, social media can fuel children into indulging in risky behaviour such as drug abuse and sexual activities. It is not in contention that social media benefits children; however, it is essential to carry out an intensive study on the use of social media in society. In particular, this research shall seek to critically analyze the impacts of social media on children’s developmental stages and learning process.How Social Media Use is InitiatedInfluence central organization has reported that an average child in the United States gets his/her first smartphone at the age of ten. They also open up their first social media account at the age of eleven. It is estimated that by the age of twelve, fifty percent of all the children use at least one social media platform. This then begs the question of how these children manage to log on to these platforms, given that there is an age limit for these sites (Griffiths, 2000). Notably, these children lie about their age especially for sites such as Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat and Facebook all of which have set their age limit to be thirteen as dictated by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Recently, Facebook launched a social media app for children that was dubbed “Messenger for Kids.” The launch of this app reignited major debates on how this app will negatively affect children socialization and the type of content that they will be able to share between themselves. The debate also would address the issue of on how young is too young for children to use mobile apps Common Sense reported in 2016, that up to fifty-six percent of both teens and tweens have their social media accounts. Most of the parents who were subjectsof this study pointed out that they have been dependent on the Children’s Online Privacy Act to come up with a stringent measure to ensure that the companies creating these platforms come up with more age limiting restrictions which their children cannot bypass (Desmottes, 2016). It is prudent to note that while some of them considered twelve to be a young age for children to be using social media, most of them felt that they were okay to sit down with their children and talk about the privacy concerns of Social media use (Akram & Kumar, 2017). However, the menace still looms with children under the age of five becoming addicted to the internet. This implies that children developmental stages of socializing are impeded from such an early ageAccording to the report by Common Sense, most of the parents objecting to thirteen-year-olds using social media were not concerned with the detriment to the children’s developmental stages as well as the learning stages, they were concerned with the amount of time that was spent on the media platforms (Akram & Kumar, 2017). This was an intriguing concern, as it could be aligned with the topic with respect to the impediment to the learning stages that are associated with the increased use of social media platforms. The information that the children are exposed to on social media tends to affect how they learn things during their development stages.Effects of Social Media in Young ChildrenThe effect that social media has on young children with regards to the learning stages is immense. The effects range from affected communication and social skills to failure to have an identity as well as a lack of self-esteem. All these negative effects of social media are brought about by cyberbullying and exposure to untrue information. Firstly, internet use can be very addictive to children, and as such most children will spend most of their time on social media. This will mean that they will stop to have relationships or interactions with people around them. Studies reveal that engrossment to the internet in people is so great that people become detached from real life (Best et al. 2015). The report specifies the name of the report suggested that most children under the age of five develop communication skills from continuous interaction with the people around them, failure to have these interactions will impede their communication skills (Sampasa-Kanyinga & Lewis, 2015). The learning of interpersonal communication is achieved at a very young age, and when children under the age of five years spend most of their time on social media, then they fail to learn the verbal and nonverbal cues which are necessary for the development of interpersonal communications. Secondly, social media affects self-esteem and self-confidence in young children. During adolescence is the time when a person becomes aware of who he/she is since the body experiences some changes during puberty. It is at this stage that they become aware of their identity. Social media exposes adolescents, to cyberbullying as well as unrealistic expectations of how life in the real world is as compared to the cyber world (Lewis & Greenshow, 2016). A perfect example is a girl whose body does not conform to models as well as other children of herage, such a child will strain to achieve such looks to no avail, and he/she will consequently realize that they cannot achieve it. This will leave them with negative feelings about themselves, thus affecting their self-esteem (Dorfberger et al. 2007). Notably, the constant trying to emulate people in the media will mean that they will not have time to discover themselves and accept who they are. This translates to an affected self-confidence. The young age is the appropriate time when children learn skills such as researching –no they do not learn to research, they learn to search! and critical thinking. Children develop critical thinking skills at the age of eight. However, it has been suggested that as soon as children can speak in sentences, they are ready to engage in critical thinking skills (Lewis & Greenshow, 2016). The study shows that constant interactions with people around children augment their skills to analyze situations critically. Excessive use of social media affects and impedes communication skills and the development of critical thinking skills (Lewis & Greenshow, 2016). Additionally, the internet provides most answers with just a click of the button, which means that children will be dependent on the internet for answers which they could have gotten through critical analysis of the questions. Addiction to Social Media in ChildrenSocial Media Addiction is considered to be a behavioural addiction. It is defined by an over-concern on what is happening on social media. It is driven by an uncontrollable urge of a person to log on to a social media site. Additionally, it is also defined by the devotion of so much time as well as effort to social media in a manner that impairs other important areas of his/her life (Schweddler & Trude, 2018). Research has shown that children under the age of five when overexposed to social media to the point of addiction will have a difficult time in adjusting to the social norms since he/she is used to the unreal world of social media. It is vital to note that with the social media platforms, reaction and comments for these children is enough to cause their bodies to release dopamine, which is a hormone that is released when the body wants to “reward” itself (Schweddler & Trude, 2018). Consistent “Reward system” will program their lives to such a system which will mean that they will cease to engage in activities which they consider less rewarding, for example, social interaction and engage in harmful activities which they think may be more rewarding such as cyber-bullying. Effects of Addiction to Social Media to the Learning Process of Young ChildrenFirstly, there is the sensorimotor stage which begins from birth through to two years, and it is during this stage that children become aware of the world through their senses as well as manipulation of objects. There is not much effect at this stage of social media on the children. The next stage is the preoperational stage, and the first effects of social media addiction are evidenced during this stage. It is during this stage that memory and imagination are augmented in the children (Duddai et al. 2015). The children at the adolescent age can understand things symbolically and also become cognizant of the ideas of the past and future. Social media addiction at this age will limit their perception of things to the things present in the social media platforms and hence deny their minds from developing their thinking skills.At the age of seven through to eleven years of age, the children are at the concrete operational stage. It is at this stage where they become aware of the external events as well as the feelings of other people. With the upsurge in social media use, it is quite evident that cyber-bullying becomes an apparent behaviour of children as they develop the confidence to shame other people over this platform (Raut & Patil, 2016). Lastly, there is the formal operational stage that starts at the age of twelve through to the teenage years. This developmental stage offers the children the ability to be able to solve problems using critical analysis (O’Keffe & Clark-Pearson, 2011). Social media limits the ability of children to think critically by offering answers to their problems by just a click of the button. In light of this, therefore, an addiction will limit development at this stage.Generation Z and Generation Y with regards to Social MediaDifferent generations use social media differently. While one generation tends to use social media extensively, another generation tends to limit their use of social media. Generation Y is referred to as digital natives. This name can be attributed to their usage of social media. According to Aksoy et al. (2013) has shown that this is the largest of the generations and the fact that they have access to the social networks gives them an upper hand with regards to an impactful voice (Aksoy et al. 2013). A millennial child is prone to oversharing, and the fact that they have access to technology allows them the audience and liberty to share and makes them ardent users of the technology. It is important that this generation of users are the most outspoken on social media and are therefore used to push brands on social media (Coombes, 2009). The use of social media to this generation is motivated by the fact that they like something and not because they have been forced or pressured.On the other hand, a study by Pew Research has revealed that only fourteen per cent of adults in 1995 had access to the internet. There has been a consistent upsurge to eighty-seven per cent by 2014. The use of social media by generation Z includes the fact that seventy-two per cent of generation Z ‘ers have access to all mobile wireless services including data and applications which can grant them the use of social media (Turner, 2015). The time spent on social media by this generation is an average of three hours and thirty-eight minutes per day. This amounts for nearly an excess of fifty minutes to the amount of time spent online by the average social media user (Hutter et al. 2013). Most of the time spent online must be passive reading since most individuals spend more time refreshing their tweet feeds instead of reading those (Lichy & Kachour, 2017). Passive reading affects the retention abilities of this generation, and as such, their minds do not develop to be able to retain much of what they read.Improvements of Electronics and the Increase in the use of Social MediaThe tech veterans or those in the earlier generations before the innovation of smartphones admit that technology of smartphones affects the development of children. According to Parker (2017) posited that with the change in societal relationships the development in technologies might be affecting the growth of children in ways that we cannot fathom (Chassiakos et al. 2016). The many developments include the availability of Wi-Fi networks which provide people with easy internet access to social media platforms. Notably also is the fact that there is an increasing number of smartphones across the world and they are cheap. It is not a surprise to find a three-year-old being gifted with an iPad tablet for their third birthday. Such instances have also contributed to the increase in the use of social media at an early age by children.Conclusion Even though social media is a technology that should be embraced, given the fact that it is an element of the society; social media impedes the development of the children and the learning stages of their growth. Addiction to social media has highly affected the children causing misinformation, cyberbullying which affects the children’s self-esteem and identity crisis. It is important for parents always to keep track of their children’s use of social media to prevent the adverse effects of social media on the children. This is augmented through social media addiction, obesity as a result of much time being spent online, lifestyle diseases resulting from poor diets as well as the loss of communication skills as part of the effects of social media. The use of social media exposes the children to false information, and it prevents the socialization skills in life. With the continued advancements in technology, it will be prudent for measures to be taken to combat the menace of social media addiction early enough.ReferencesAkram, W., & Kumar, R. (2017). A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, 347-357.Aksoy, L., Van Riel, A., Kandampully, J., Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., … & Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda.Journal of service management.Best, P., Manktelowa, R., & Taylor, B. (2014). Online communication, social media, and adolescent wellbeing: A systematic narrative review. Children and Youth Services Review, 27-36.Chassiakos, Y. L. R., Radesky, J., Christakis, D., Moreno, M. A., & Cross, C. (2016). Children and adolescents and digital media.Pediatrics,138(5), e20162593.Coombes, B. (2009). 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